tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC March 11, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
he was just a regular guy driving his pickup truck. he cut government spending. he'd be there to vote to kill obama care. but elizabeth warren shattered that image last fall. >> i think this is one more case of senator brown making it clear where he stands. he's taken more than $2 million in contributions and he really delivers for wall street. >> he really delivered for wall street. ouch. in total, the securities and investment industry gave brown $3.2 million for his re-election campaign. yep. scott brown really helped out wall street when he was in the senate and now that he's lost his seat, he'll be helping them again. we learned today brown has a new job working at the law firm nixon peabody where he will,
quote, focus on his practice on business and governmental affairs as they relate to financial services industry as well as commercial real estate matters. translation? he's taking care of business just like they took care of him. it's a perfect fit. in fact, one of his new firm's biggest clients is goldman sachs. but brown's new clients might have a tougher time than they used to down in d.c. because they are not dealing with senator scott brown anymore. >> if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night. tell me a little bit about the last few times you've taken the biggest financial institutions on wall street all the way to a trial. anybody? i'm really concerned that too
big to fail has become too big for trial. that just seems wrong to me. >> elizabeth warren is in. scott brown is out. he may run for office again but no one is going to be fooled by his fake pop u lichl again. what you see is what you again. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. paul ryan, the health bomber. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. here we go. right in the middle of all this let's get together mood in washington, dinner with republican senators, breakfast
with paul ryan himself, and his democratic counterpart chris van hollen, out pops the killer rabbit if you will, the mad bomber. paul ryan hardly finished with his breakfast at the white house suddenly out there with the wing nuts calling for the all-out elimination of the health care act. the measure written into law by 60 senator supermajority, ryan now proposes killing. he wants to do a pretty good job of medicare while in the killing business. calling for elimination of medicare as people know it and replacing it with a voucher system so people in their late 70s, 80s, 90s i suppose can have a late life adventure of shopping for health care insurance. my question is why the newspapers keep acting as if this guy, paul ryan, is some big republican brain. is this the person with whom the president needs to strike a grand bargain? if so, we've got problems. let's see. you say health care, mr. president, i say no health care. you say medicare, mr. president, i say vouchers.
where do you find the middle ground on those two? i'm joined by david corn, who's with "mother jones" of course, and grio.com's the great joy reid. i'm flabbergasted only in the sense everybody keeps telling me paul ryan's got some smarts. here in the middle of this get-together, let's find a middle ground, let's work together, he pumps out with let's kill president obama's place in history to start the conversation. that will warm him up. your thoughts. >> absolutely. i don't know if it was about him that paul krugman said it's a dumb person's view of what a smart person sounds like. paul ryan is essentially trying to propose to balance the budget in ten years. his previous draconian budget did so in something like 40. to meet this test, austerity at all cost, this fetish on the right, he's decided to take a meat ax not only to medicare as you said, voucherizing it, again, which he already proposed and was rejected before. there's this idea which is totally disingenuous, as if there's a single democrat
breathing in washington, they're not going to repeal the affordable care act. it is not going to happen. he knows it. he's putting it in because his numbers don't add up. >> there's a machiavellian reason why he did it. >> his numbers don't add up. >> chuck todd came up with this. if he says i'm going to eliminate health care, the obama care program, affordable health, if i put that as one of the features in my budget, every republican in the house has to vote for it, because if he or she republican votes against it, they will be accused of being for obama care. this is the ingenious craziness of this. it's in a reverse poison pill. let me go to david for a second. >> it would be the equivalent of barack obama coming out and saying i want to cut a deal on the grand bargains with republicans but insist on a single payer canadian-style health care plan. if you don't do that, i'm not talking to you.
>> right. >> if he said that, would everyone in the beltway go out and say, what a smart, intelligent, thoughtful leader that president is? he would be pilloried from everybody, you know, from the center to the right here. you're right. paul ryan can come out and do this. >> how does he get the free ride with the press? >> maybe the bar is very low for some republicans compared to newt gingrich or herman cain. i mean, i do like the line that, you know, that came out a year or two back when he first proposed this budget. and people like bill clinton and barack obama in a more gentle manner said, wait a second, tell me how it's courageous to cut medicare and medicaid and not tax the wealthy. >> by the way, as pointed out here later this afternoon, joy, not just did he propose these terrible cuts in programs that really affect old people in this country on health care, who
really depend, by the way, they paid into it, depend on medicare. people watching this program right now. maybe half our viewers either have it or expecting to get it soon. they're wondering why does this guy want to cut that? meanwhile, huge tax breaks for the rich. he's rand personified here. taking savings, if you want to call it people, care from the government, and give it to rich people. >> absolutely. paul ryan's ideology is not about cutting the deficit. it's about shifting focus of what government invests in. the philosophy spending money on poor people and old people is a waste of money. >> looters. >> they're just looters. >> looters. remember that? >> now we call them the takers. >> it's the takers versus the makers. >> it's $1 trillion in cuts in this budget from medicaid, food stamps and education and job training programs. $1 trillion. and not doing anything in terms of the -- >> well, we're not alone here in
this critique. even former omb director under president george w. bush, jim nussle, called ryan's proposal unrealistic. here's what he said on cnbc just this morning. let's listen. >> chairman ryan coming out saying, you know, one of the marquee issues in the budget is going to be repeal of obama care. well, i think we fought that battle. i think it's over. it's been over a few times. good luck with that one. that doesn't make it any more realistic. >> what about, joy, what about this proposal? i mean, he's got here, he's assuming the $600 billion in new revenues that were decided on in the fiscal cliff, he's opposed a lot of this stuff. he's now acting as if it's all going to be there. i mean, he's really kind of loosey-goosey in the way he decides. let's see, health care is not current law, we're going to get rid of that but keep this other little future. whatever suits his purposes. i really do think you got sting there, david. the i.q. level, ability level on the republican level is so crazy
out there on the tea party side, that anybody who actually reads books, even ayn rand. you read any book, you're the smartest kid in the pact. >> anybody who cites numbers. the reason the beltway media is enamored with paul ryan, he's willing to be specific. republicans say, reduce the size of government. they're vague about it. he's specific about what he wants to go after. the poor and old people. he puts numbers there. again, it's the pretensive seriousness. the last budget, he said he wants to get rid of obama care but he incorporates the savings from the $716 billion into his own budget then attacks the president for it. he does this. >> let's recap. we're talking about a period right now in march of 2013 where we're supposed to be moving into a season of negotiation for some kind of grand bargain. i'm very skeptical because now, this. how can you take this as the republican starting point? and as you said, the president didn't come off as mr. socialist at all. he's in the middle, center left slightly. >> i mean, there's an important point here. >> can you make a deal with him? >> i don't think you can.
there's a sort of moral equivalency in washington that if washington's not working it's the president's fault and the republicans' fault. >> objective journalism. >> bob woodward said, why doesn't the president lead more and cut a deal? when you come out with these positions, i think you can talk to people like thomas mann. they'll tell you, radical centrists, it's clear the president has moved far more toward the middle or in the right's direction to cut a deal than these guys have. when paul ryan comes out and says, listen, i want to pretend that 2012 did not happen, it's like back to the future. he got a new time machine to put out this budget which is even more harsh than the one that was rejected in 2011, 2012, by the voters. >> as joy mentioned moments ago why ryan's budget calls for the elimination of obama's health care law it keeps one aspect of it, the $700 billion in cuts to medicare. the law created here, by the way. vice presidential candidate last year, ryan, vigorously campaigned against those cuts using them to bash the
president. let's take a look at the old paul ryan, like, a year ago. >> obama care takes $716 billion from medicare to spend on obama care. they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar turning medicare into a piggy bank for obama care. their own actuary from the administration came to congress and said, one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this. >> and there may are right in his plan, the same $716 billion. let me ask you, final we, joy, as i said, i want to take some time on this. who does the president negotiate with? not every right solution is somewhere between one side and the other. somebody pointed out in a column this morning, sometimes like at a chinese restaurant, column "a," column "b." sometimes one party is right, sometimes at other party is right. democrats aren't so great on that issue of cutting spending. but you get benefits from both sides. democrats were a hell of a lot better on health care, hell of a lot better for old people generally. republicans have never done
anything for old people. democrats created medicare against republican opposition and created obama care against republicans. it isn't like getting somewhere in the middle. they're nowhere. >> right. >> the democrats are somewhere. and that's -- so you can't just split the difference. i want to go back to how can the president negotiate if he doesn't have a negotiating partner of any kind of sort of common sense here? >> i totally agree. because john boehner completely advocated the role, it leaves me really dubious they're going to make any grand partner at all because there is no negotiating partner. >> look at what eric cantor said. same question. eric cantor told "the new yorker" he killed the grand bargain. he said this with pride. you have guy there saying, i'm opposed to these sort of deals. you have boehner without power. you have paul ryan in fantasy land. from a policy perspective. mitch mcconnell is sort of hiding behind maybe waiting for a phone call from joe biden. the president really doesn't have anyone who wants to move as far as he, himself, is willing to move. >> okay.
another nail in the coffin. here's something else that will remain in the republican budget this year. $600 billion in tax hikes agreed to in the fiscal cliff deal. paul ryan might have voted in favor of the fiscal cliff deal. many republicans did not. take a look at how congressman jason chaffetz from utah responded to it this morning. let's watch here. another little wrinkle. >> did you vote against the fiscal cliff deal? >> yeah, i did. i did. >> is this budget going to assume the $600 billion in new revenue in the fiscal cliff deal? >> we haven't gotten to the final product. paul has not yet released it. it potentially will. >> do you think it should? >> i want to look at it in its totality. look, at the end of the day you actually have to put numbers on piece of paper and achieve balance. >> joy, david, you know this as well. republican party for years going way back to the reagan at administration trying to make it clear they're the party of -- they don't, since the old days of eisenhower, back before them, bob dole, people like that, jerry ford, when they really did believe the main purpose of budgeting was to balance it.
they now believe in huge defense expenditures, huge tax cuts and strange things they want to do with vouchering. they have so many other ideological ambitions. they've lost track of -- what did somebody say? paul ryan said we're going to balance the budget in 40 years? i would say that's a low priority on the back burner. that's why i think they have to come up with these gimmicks, why they have to keep allowing, oh, yeah, we'll take the democrats on that, we'll take the people on that we voted against. they have to get the numbers to look realistically fiscally conservative. >> absolutely, chris. paul ryan reminds me of kid that cheats off your paper and the teacher thinks they're the smartest kid in the class because he keeps cheating off barack obama's paper. i'll take his tax cuts, $700 billion in medicare savings and add that into my budget because my numbers are wrong and don't add up. the republicans have never been for balancing the budget. they're the ones who want to spend the most on defense.
medicare part "d" is something george bush did, wrestled through congress. they believe in spending money on the wealthy, essentially, and on seniors when it's good for them politically. >> do you think joseph gordon leavitt would play him in the movies? i really think they're going to try to make a hero out of this guy. >> comedy or horror? >> west side story. once prominent future. thank you, david corn, thank you, joy reid. coming up, as if we didn't have enough reason to be fed up with the war in afghanistan, now the president of afghanistan, hamid karzai says the united states and taliban are in effect working together to keep the country unstable and justify -- in other words, we're killing our own people over there so we can stay. it's comments like that that make americans say, it's fine, we're getting out of there, we're taking our soldiers and money and going home. and we're joined, rumors are true that ashley judd is planning on taking on mitch mcconnell for the seat in kentucky next year. mcconnell will paint her as a hollywood liberal, but she's a hollywood liberal with a lot of money. we learned this weekend the percentage of households in this country with guns is steadily declining. in other words, the same people
out there buying over and over again more and more and more guns in the same sort of different households. that's an issue we've got to look at when we come to gun legislation. and economist "new york times" columnist, krugman files for bankruptcy and the right wing rejoices. or not. the latest story swallowed whole by the right wing media that just wishes it was true. this is "hardball," the place for politics. g triplets. [ babies crying ] surprise -- your house was built on an ancient burial ground. [ ghosts moaning ] surprise -- your car needs a new transmission. [ coyote howls ] how about no more surprises? now you can get all the online trading tools you need without any surprise fees. ♪ it's not rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
it looks like we know who the next secretary of labor going to be. numerous reports say president obama will pick thomas perez, currently the assistant attorney general for the justice department's civil rights division. perez is the son of exiles from the dominican republic and would be the only latino to date in the president's new cabinet. perez's nomination is expected to be welcomed by organized labor which sees him as defending work and civil rights. we'll be right back. you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec® at relieving your allergy symptoms for 24 hours.
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karzai yesterday just a short time before meeting with our new defense secretary chuck hagel accused the united states of america of working within the taliban on violent acts that are to keep american troops beyond the scheduled 2014 pullout. in other words, he's accusing us of killing our own people in effect so that we can stay in that country longer than next year. given the cost of the united states in both blood and money, of course, to prop karzai and his government up, the remark is sure to enflame an american public, including me, already saying enough. today two americans were dead following a green of blue attack. in other words, an afghan army, blue army, on us, attacking eastern province of wardak. man in an afghan security uniform opened fire on american and afghan forces. mike taibbi is covering this story for us in kabul tonight. put it all together, mike. you know what we're all focused on back here. our frustration and now alarm that our ally over there, hamid
karzai thinks we're engaging in some suicidal attempt to keep ourselves necessary over there. >> reporter: you know, you say your reaction was to say enough. i think a lot of people over here had a reaction of saying, he said what? it didn't make sense to a lot of people. it seemed like the general saying something ridiculous in "catch 22." look at things that did and didn't happen in karzai's statements in a national sunday address. saturday there was supposed to be a hand-over from u.s. control to afghan control of the prison at bagram air base. it meant authority, autonomy. all points that he would have liked to have made, but the deal fell apart at the last minute because karzai objected to one clause, what we were told by a highly placed diplomatic. that is that the u.s. would have final say on whether certain prisoners were high value or high-risk detainees and should say in prison. karzai wanted to have the right to use any prisoners he wanted for prisoner releases to mollify the taliban. he thought that was the way to
go forward with the taliban. that was one thing that didn't happen. this is wardak where shooting happened today. we'll get to that. several weeks ago karzai ordered all special forces from the u.s. and coalition withdraw from wardak province because of unconfirmed allegations of their involvement in abusive attack against civilians in wardak province. he put a two-week deadline on. the two-week deadline passed. the forces are still there. saturday morning, there were two terrible suicide bombings. one in kabul, itself, that hagel could actually hear from where he was a mile away. 18 people dead including 8 children. awful thing. all leading up to sunday morning, karzai gets on television, says what he says, and everybody says, what's he talking about? what's his goal here? i talked to one diplomat, a nato guy who ask we not use his name and knows karzai, spoken to him
a number of times. he said this is a guy who has a touch of paranoia, a control reflex that seems more apparent right now. he's worried about being marginalized. thought the end game is being played out in afghanistan, he's not going to be even second chair, he's going to be a marginal player has to be getting to him. he gets on tv, says what he says and hasn't disavowed him at this point. everybody is saying either enough, as you're saying, chris, or saying, what is he saying? what's his point? where's he going with this? this diplomat said it's difficult to see where he's going because by saying things like this, he may derail the chances of any prospect of peace talks with the taliban, which peace talks, by way, are nowhere in sight at the moment. that point made by secretary hagel, himself. so who knows what president karzai is saying and what his motivation is at this point. it's really strange here and an awkward ending to hagel's visit. >> we'll be back to you again over time. i think this is a real troubling
matter for americans to have an ally we think is not our ally. thank you so much, mike taibbi in kabul. bobby ghosh for "time" magazine. bobby, you know the american view here. my god, it's a tough enough war without having an ally that seems to be dumping on us pretty roughly. >> yes, it is. i think we should -- our thought with the poor afghans. our relationship now with karzai is like having a colleague working with you on a project in the office who is hateful and you dislike them for any number of reasons but you need them to get the project done and you can be on the way. the afghans are stuck with this guy. long after the americans leave, he's still going to be their president. mike laid is out perfectly. nobody can make any sense of the statement. it doesn't seem to be -- it's not clear what his audience is he's talking to for this. no one in this country believes this ridiculous conspiracy theory.
obviously no one in this country believes it. who's he talking to? >> well, it just seems to me along those lines, bobby, if you ask the average american, right, left, center. we'd like to never have to go back in there again. i think that's one unifying principle. we don't want to have to go back into afghanistan once we leave last year. why would he argue our goal is to prolong our stay? >> we're giving his argument far too much credibility. i don't think it has any. it doesn't make any sense at all. yes, the obama administration is in the process of negotiating what number of soldiers to keep there. it's probably a very small footprint. anti-terror unit. and by the way, he needs that unit as much as anybody else. far more, i would argue, the obama administration, for his personal safety and the safety of his country. for him to come out at this
point and argue there's some kind of collusion between the americans and the taliban is, frankly, he's got so far off the reservation here that it's hard to see where he's going. >> i've got vietnam syndrome all through my being. so i imagine 2014 being like '74. we leave, the helicopters are pulling out our last allies there. do you think there's any strength to the afghan army that it can actually hold off against for a significant period of time against the taliban? >> well, my gut says no. that would be a terrible shame, because a lot of american soldiers have put in a lot of really hard work to train that army. but it -- all the indications and the green on blue violence is only the latest. every indication is that they're not going to be able to hold up against a really strong taliban offensive which will have support probably from pakistan and other outside players. and surely karzai is aware of that unless he's already booked a seat in the last helicopter
out of kabul. >> i wonder what hotel he's going to be living in in new york. i worry for a guy who depends totally on us why he's bashing us. thank you, bobby ghosh. next, the right wing media reports as fact yet another story that's only true in its dreams. total bogus story being passed around again, and it's totally untrue. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ dad ] ah! lily... she pretty much lives in her favorite princess dress. and she's not exactly tidy. even if she gets a stain she'll wear it for a week straight. so i use tide to get out those week old stains and downy to get it fresh and soft.
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mommy's having a french fry. yes she is, yes she is. [ bop ] [ male announcer ] could've had a v8. 100% vegetable juice, with three of your daily vegetable servings in every little bottle. ha! >> back to "hardball." now the "sideshow." first, has leading economist paul krugman fallen on hard financial times? if you look to conservative website, breitbart.com for your daily headlines, this one would be quite the shocker. "krugman files for bankruptcy." the story links to a blog post on boston.com and reads in part, "the bankruptcy filing also
sheds some fascinating light on krugman's spending habits which includes an amex bill reaching $84,000 in one month and charges for portuguese wines and a dress from a victorian period." red flags started to go up at the reading an that. they should have. extra digging leads to the story's starting point. the "daily currant," satirical website, also reading headlines like pope benedict leaves office with epic latin twitter rant. paul krugman has not filed for bankruptcy. it proved a purpose, shows how easily the wing nuts fall for this stuff. "on friday i started hearing from friends about a fake story making the rounds about my allegedly filing for personal bankruptcy. i decided not to post anything about it. instead i wanted to wait and see which right wing media outlets would fall for the hoax. and breitbart.com came through." next, a lesson on how to avoid being seen on the losing side of a popular issue. reauthorization of the violence against women act which
president obama signed last week. from iowa republican steve king after the legislation passed, "i supported this legislation because i know how important it is to empower women in difficult situations. i voted in support of the house version to see that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have access to the resources and protection when they need it most." here's the thing, steve king and about 130 other republicans actually voted against final passage of the reauthorization. instead he voted for a more restrictive proposal put together by house republicans that ultimately failed. he's got company on this. republican vicki hartzler. "i'm pleased to support the efforts that protect women." she got away with pretending. bill maher, things that shouldn't spark a heated debate like the first lady going on television or the politics of grocery shopping. >> the appropriate response to seeing michelle obama on tv isn't who does she think she is? being on tv is for people who have done something with their lives like ice road truckers or the amish mafia or swamp people.
you think because your husband is the leader of the free world it makes you all that? come back when he runs a pawnshop. not everything has to be seen through the lens of politics. if you hate obama care, eat at papa john's. if you hate gay marriage, eat at chick-fil-a. conservatives like all-american beers like bud and miller that are easy to spell. or bush with its patriotic eagle logo. while liberals prefer imported beers from europe, socialism in a bottle. how is it that a nation that was
never even interested in politics that much has now made everything political? i believe in science didn't use to be fighting words. >> i say keep them guessing when it comes to your personal taste. coming up, kentucky derby, that not won churchill downs but a different kind of race. ashley judd has decided to take on mitch mcconnell for the senate. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. just like you. is it when you've when left work behind,ise? and only the waves remain?
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repeal the decision to ban big, sugary drinks. now back to "hardball." ashley judd, news this morning she wants to run in kentucky to challenge mitch mcconnell. she, of course, actually has residency in tennessee. how do you handicap her process? >> she is one of my constituents. she is a friend of mine. if you runs, she will run hard, and knowing that family, they are very tenacious and spirited. >> welcome back to "hardball." tennessee congresswoman marsha blackburn right there was one of many guests on this weekend's political shows asked about actress ashley judd's potential challenge to kentucky senator mitch mcconnell. the article that stoked all that
talk was by our own howard fineman. in this weekend's "huffington post" he writes, "ashley judd has told key advisers and political figures she's planning to announce her candidacy for u.s. senate here this spring." working with a pollster, interviewed media consultants. she's lining up allies in field organizations. number four, she's had advisers working on her filing papers and other technical issues. a judd bid against the senate minority leader would become the most watched race in 2014. joining me, howard fineman. and of course, alex wagner, our own colleague here from "now with alex wagner" which airs at noon every day and is doing great. i want to start with howard because he has fresh dig here from reporting. it seems to me that if she runs, if i were her adviser, i say one advantage you have over all the other candidates is you get in a debate with this guy, beat him in the debate, you win. it will put such a focus on the tv debate that will inevitably occur. she gets a bye all the way to the debate, it seems. >> chris, the larger point, if this happens -- >> i thought that was the larger
point. i'm sorry. >> it is the larger point. this would be in kentucky terms, this would be a new-style campaign. in other words, kentucky has been a state, one of the most traditional, where you go courthouse to courthouse, county to county, you rely, if you're a democrat, on the democratic party organization. by the way, the democratic party organization in kentucky, and i was at their big dinner this week down in kentucky, they don't want ashley judd. they know politics -- >> who do they want? >> they don't have anybody. that's the thing. >> what about conway? >> they all want to run for governor the following year. ashley judd would run a new style 21st century media-based campaign. you're right. she would use television, especially free media. she'll get coverage like you won't believe wherever she goes in the state. >> who would not watch that debate with her and mitch mcconnell? >> the capper of it all, you're right, after all those months of free media would be the debates. i know ashley judd some. i've watched her in public. she's sharp. she's tough.
she's probably a pretty good debater. she will learn her brief. if she makes it that far, i think she could be formidable. >> let's go to the general question looking at this, alex. you and i are political people. you know, you have to wonder, this is the kind of thing that does lighten up, brighten up politics if you ask me. when the outsiders jump in. it's not the same old/same old. the people working their way up from the state legislature. when the other people pop in at mid-level, pretty high level here, it does spice it up and makes it fascinating. arnold schwarzenegger, ronald reagan, people like that jumping in, al franken from the media world where they're well known. name i.d. how powerful is just the fact everybody will know who ashley judd is? >> huge, massive. ed franklin was stuart smalley before he was a u.s. senator. at the beginning stages that i don't think was taken very seriously as far as a candidacy. ashley judd is not only a very well-known hollywood actress, beautiful and well spoken, she's been a very outspoken for
women's rights. she's questioned male patriarchy, questioned traditional gender norms and dean so with an amount of fluency and passion that is pretty remarkable. i would say, you know, mcconnell's people and the republicans at large in the state of kentucky want to make this a cultural war about a hollywood liberal but also want to take on the issue of traditional gender norms and be defenders of traditional gender norms. as we know, chris, the republican party does not tend to do well when they take on the issues of women's health, gender equality in this country. >> let's take at the latest ppp poll. senator mcconnell's approval rating in kentucky deep under water at 37% approval. he's at 37%. 55% disapproval. still a hypothetical matchup. the same poll shows mcconnell ahead of judge. 47%, 43%. that's not much ahead, is it, howard? >> no. no, it isn't. traditionally kentucky voters want to --. to many of them, the people i saw in kentucky, ashley judd is their worse nightmare because she is a social-liberal. she's against mountaintop
removal in strip mining which in eastern kentucky is something a lot of people really like or view as a sort of cultural identifier. but she was reared in kentucky. she went to school there. she's a huge -- >> went to university of kentucky. >> university of kentucky basketball fan. she knows how to touch the cultural milestones. the cultural touch points. mitch mcconnell is from louisville. mitch mcconnell has never been well liked out in the state. i can tell you having spent five years in kentucky that ashley judd, for all of her hollywood ties, could out-country and out-kentucky mitch mcconnell in that state. at least that's what she could try to do. >> this is a little bit psychobabble but this is what we like to. alex wagner, imagine you're mitch mcconnell. he is a pro. he's very smart politically, very cagy, if you will.
he's thinking right now, would he rather run against a no face boring guy from the locality, worked his way up as a local lawyer, whatever the typical candidate, or this wildcard? >> i think he'd rather run against the no face boring guy as you say, chris. if only because, as you pointed out, she's going to inject a ton of excitement. she has the eyeballs. there's going to be enthusiasm. she's going to have access to the ground game if the obama campaign infrastructure works with her on this. there are going to be high dollar donors who come into the race. it will be a high-profile race. mitch mcconnell would probably do best running as a guy that's just won all this time, so you might as well vote for him again. once you begin questioning who he is and what he stands for and there's a candidate on the other side who's exciting and dynamic, it's a problem for him, i think. >> the obama people don't want her, either. >> i heard you got that reporting. explain that story. >> my sense of it is, the obama people who did a good job of winning virginia, don't forget, they won virginia twice, president obama did.
they simply think that ashley judd has too many downsides. she's had mental problems she's been very frank about. she recently got divorced. she's got, as one kentucky democrat said down in owensboro, they have a whole drawer full of pictures of her. >> what's that mean? >> not divorce. not divorce. they've got pictures of her from, shall we say, more of the dramatic aspects of her movie career. >> oh, really? >> yeah. >> i like her in the movies. i've seen movies like "double jeopardy." i think she's great. >> the typical term in kentucky is naked. does that matter anymore? would that matter in her case? if this happens, you throw out all the traditional rules in one of the most traditional political states in the country which is kentucky. >> let's watch the republicans bash another woman. this would be great. what do you think of that, alex? let's bring up all kinds of questions about her background. that will make them look great.
>> we're talking about half of the country. while naked photos may be relevant to her past, this is someone who had a career in hollywood and doesn't apologize for that. some ways she's an artist and entertainer and looking to the next chapter of her life. she's been an incredibly outspoken and strong advocate for women's rights. that balances out whatever photos there may be. her career is accepted. >> that squares with my reporting in kentucky. even though the male establishment and some of the more traditional women in the establishment are scared of her, you talk to most women who aren't so much a part of the political establishment in kentucky, they love the idea of ashley judd. they love the idea of mixing it up. they love the idea of turning things upsidedown. >> okay. by the way, asymmetric warfare here, guys. no chance anyone's looking for a naked picture of mitch mcconnell. thank you, howard fineman. thank you, alex wagner. up next, maybe the country isn't quite as crazy about guns as we've been led to believe. wait until you see who's been buying these guns. it's not the way you think. it's really a few special cases. anyway, this is "hardball."
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i'm not going to do anything illegally with it, but i believe it is a better defense weapon in that environment than a double-barreled shotgun. >> senator lindsey graham of south carolina. it was last week he was speaking there in the senate judiciary committee hearing on guns obviously making his case for why a shotgun, in other words, a gun preferred by the vice president not adequate protection if all hell breaks loose during a natural disaster. we learned a lot about how gun sales spiked since president obama's re-election. a new study suggested in recent decades looking over time, at least, fewer and fewer households are actually buying more and more guns. people are stocking up on guns in a few households. with me is mayor nutter and former police chief.
mayor nutter, what do you make of graham? graham's a smart guy. what is he doing? why is he doing that? >> i testified at the senate judiciary hearing on senator feinstein's bill and the work that she is doing and we have a q & a back and forth. >> i'm not sure what that's all about. dead is dead. multiround clips, it's weaponry. i don't know what the
distinction is about. >> as a law enforcement person, are you concerned about this rage that some people -- statics show it's not everybody -- but some people have to arm up and not just shotguns or handguns to protect themselves with but they want to have semiautomatic weaponry in their households. >> we know that guns are not the answer to every problem, to personal safety. i mean, statistics in real-life situations have demonstrated that. the amount of devastations that ar-15s and ak-47s can do to the body, shotguns are absolutely adequate and i think, chris, until we take politics out of the discussion and congress starts voting their conscious, we're not going to get much
done, unfortunately, and you're going to hear the same kind of rhetoric that the senator has said this week. >> you know mr. mayor, you and i are pennsylvanians. i have to say, i met with some kids from pennsylvania, a college up there, and i won't name it because it's so surprising what they were saying. one of them was saying, we ought to be able to carry guns into the bar rooms and everybody with holstered guns. i said, what about hockey games? sure, bring the guns. we know what goes on, the high passion and the drinking that goes on at these events and they don't even see how this could be dynamite and naturally people would start blowing up and shooting at each other. >> sure. i don't know what young people you're talking to, chris. clearly they don't understand the reality of the situation.
they are thinking about the wild, wild west, if everybody has something, everybody is safe. that's not what happens. when you mix folks who shouldn't have certain weapons who don't know how to handle certain weapons, certainly in public places with alcohol and a bunch of other things going on, that's just chaos. and so as the chief said, we have to be willing as americans to have a legitimate, serious, nonrhetoric-filled conversation about how do we protect the second amendment while ensuring that the first amendment, the right to assemble, the right to peacefully assemble is protected as well. they work in tandem and in parallel. and with rights comes certain responsibilities. no one has yet to explain why anyone, any civilian needs military assault weapons, magazines with 30, 50, a hundred round capacities. these are about devastation. our soldiers, our men and women in the military need them in vietnam, afghanistan, iraq and many other places to serve us
and protect us. but in law enforcement needs them, but civilians should not have them and i'm no gun expert, but certainly if you have your shotgun you know what to do. one shot often takes care of the business. >> thank you so much mayor. mayor michael nutter and val denings, thank you. when we return a emergency situation a soldier is facing in afghanistan. otherworldly things. but there are some things i've never seen before. this ge jet engine can understand 5,000 data samples per second. which is good for business. because planes use less fuel, spend less time on the ground and more time in the air. suddenly, faraway places don't seem so...far away. ♪
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